CAM Core Mission:


The Chicago Academy of Music Conservatory is an artistic collective of master performers and educators committed to embodying, inspiring, and awakening a passion for creativity in music.


Our Mission Is:

·      To embody artistic and personal excellence.

·      To inspire creative passion that evokes spirit, mind, and heart.

·      To awaken humanity’s collective communication through the transcendent experience of listening to music and each other.



The Chicago Academy of Music Conservatory offers exceptional musical training to both children and adults throughout the city. The unique curriculum and pedagogy allows highly accomplished professional musicians to share their extraordinary talents with both gifted and beginner students in the city.   

CAM has found enormous success in employing Master professionals to inspire their students’ musical, cultural, academic and social growth. Those students able to participate at higher levels will in turn reflect the gift they received.  The goal of CAM is to nurture and activate a desire for excellence in every student. This is done through individual instruction, extraordinary live performances, workshop forums and ensembles.

Our mission is to transform the student into a globally conscious cultural citizen with developed skills. The study and performance of music brings heightened values and the ability to pursue excellence in every aspect of life.


How it works!

The Chicago Academy of Music Conservatory currently occupies 1650 W 17th Street in the Pilsen neighborhood. The Conservatory curriculum focuses on high level training across multiple genres i.e Jazz, Classical, Latin, Blues, World Art Music and Contemporary. Our students are given the most extraordinary individual instruction, along with dynamic group and ensemble instruction for duets, chamber music, choir and orchestra.

Our program is designed to create the best and most unique atmosphere for the development of musical ability. This school is open to all students regardless of socio- economic background. The only requirement for each student is that they give of their best. As the only conservatory to focus on the excellence of performance as the core principle, the Chicago Academy of Music aims to employ only the best professional musicians in all genres. CAM is the only place real players share their secrets to success in music, business and in life, with the aim of making well-rounded musicians and well-rounded people. We want everyone to find that their affiliation to CAM brings an inspired sense of cultural citizenship. This is achieved through what everyone puts into it.



How to decide your course of study?


Every child deserves music in their lives! And every adult needs a creative outlet in their busy lives. CAM is able to accommodate students of any age and at all levels of skill and participation. There are, however, some things to consider when deciding what course of action to take!


For children of the most tender ages up to approximately 3 or 4: group classes, with a parent or guardian, are recommended, for exposure to rhythm and song. It is never too early for music!


For children 3 and up who wish to learn an instrument, CAM most highly recommends a course of weekly private instrumental lessons, varying in time from 30 minutes (for the youngest beginners) to one hour or more. It is important to realize that learning the skills to play any instrument and receive joyful rewards from music-making require a minimum degree of regular commitment and practice. Instruments, though exhilarating and fun, are not toys, and take a long time to master. This is true regardless of whether a child is gifted or not.


Parents often wonder how old a child should be before starting on an instrument: it really depends on each child and their ability to stay focused for a minimum duration of time (20-30 minutes is a great start). The ideal age to start an instrument is usually somewhere between 3 and 7, although there is no reason not to start an instrument slightly sooner or at any later time. But just like learning to read and write, early practice makes it easier later.


CAM also offers group instrumental classes, although these should generally be thought of as offerings meant to reinforce lessons learned in private study, and not as independent courses for an indefinite period. We accept beginning students who plan on taking group instrumental learning classes only for short durations, as progress will be restricted by the teacher’s inability to focus entirely on each child’s needs. If a child or parent wishes to be exposed to an instrument within a social environment as a taste for the activity, this is acceptable, for one or two sessions only (each session is 4-weeks long). Past that point, a student wishing to continue learning should register for private lessons. Group lessons can be continued along with private instruction, or registration in an orchestra (pending ability and placement approved by teacher).


CAM wants student’s musical education to be well-rounded, and include the basics of music theory, which include note reading, basic melody and harmony, as well as knowledge of key moments of musical history and the evolution of genres over time. To that effect, CAM will offer classes to support students’ education and will offer many opportunities to take special courses throughout the year as well as during Summer sessions.


As far as genres and methods go, CAM believes that the basics of music are the same through all genres, and learning an instrument is no different in classical than it is in jazz or blues. Genre plays more of a role in education once an intermediate level of instrumental skill is reached, and from that point on, students may elect to direct their study more in one direction or another. CAM will guide and accommodate students in their chosen musical direction over time. As for methods, CAM and its faculty adapt their teaching approach to each student’s needs, and may use some aspects of several methods, including Suzuki, Russian technique, the French approach, as well as American methods developed over the course of the last generation. Music is an amalgam of styles and traditions from around the world, and CAM teaching will reflect this reality.


CAM understands that not everyone is able to come to our current teaching facility in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, and offers a course of home lessons for those who cannot find any other way to join us. Please let us know if this is your circumstance, and we will work with you to find a solution. Furthermore, if you are a community-minded person and feel that your area would benefit from a CAM branch, please reach out to us. We will be happy to discuss with you the possibilities for CAM to open a satellite program in your neighborhood.


Scholarship Program

For many people, paying for education is a challenging task! CAM does not want you to limit your child’s education on the basis of financial constraints. It is key that you let us know if you hope to receive a scholarship, so that your child’s musical study is not affected by a situation outside of your control. We offer partial and full-scholarships to a limited (but growing) number of people, which includes help with instrument rental as well as tuition. Please approach us about your situation so that we may discuss all available options and try to ensure your child’s access to music. The process includes meeting with you in person and is offered on a case-by-case basis.

Donate your unused instrument!

Do you or anyone you know have an instrument collecting dust? Do you have a piano you have been planning to sell or give away for many years? Please donate your instruments to CAM for the benefit of its students! Your instrument donation is completely tax deductible and will make a difference in our community.



Our Business Hours:

Monday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm
Tuesday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm
Wednesday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm
Thursday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm
Friday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm
Saturday 12:00 pm 7:30 pm


Call or email to set up an appointment or tour today!


The Chicago Academy of Music
1650 W 17th Street, Chicago, IL 60608

Phone: +1-312-380-1644



Print Print | Sitemap

© The Chicago Academy of Music
1650 W 17th Street • Chicago, IL 60608
Tel: (312) 380-1644